March 15, 2011

The first five-stars: Stefon Diggs

MORE Five-star Johnathan Gray | 2012 Rivals250 to Watch

They are the best of the best. The players that are wanted by every program and destined to make a big impact at the college level and beyond.

Rivals.com has identified the first five-star prospects for the 2012 class and is unveiling them this week. Twelve prospects have been awarded five-stars but are not ranked at this time and we will profile three each day. The five-star spotlight is now on Olney (Md.) Good Counsel receiver Stefon Diggs.

Five stars: Stefon Diggs
Stefon Diggs has already been selected to play in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Olney (Md.) Good Counsel

Attributes: 6-1, 189, 4.4 40

Top schools: Offers from Alabama, Cal, Cincinnati, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.

Scouting report: Diggs is a dynamic slot receiver who is a terrific route runner, gets in and out of his breaks very quickly and has reliable hands. He gets off the line easily despite lacking great size and he has tremendous body control and the ability to make acrobatic catches look easy. After the catch he is very elusive and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. He could also be used as a punt and kick returner at the next level and he has the hips and instincts to play cornerback if needed. However, his future is clearly on offense.

Analyst's take: "Diggs won't wow you physically and he tests well but not off the charts, but when it comes to playing actual football he's one of the most dynamic prospects in the country. He can take a swing pass and take it the distance, is physical and tough enough to go over the middle and he's a legitimate downfield threat. He'll fight for the ball, amps up his game the more physical you get with him and he doesn't back down from anyone. I've seen him play since his freshman year and he hasn't gotten much bigger but he gets more explosive and more dangerous every season. He can play slot receiver or play wide, he will be a return guy at the next level and if he wanted to he could be a top notch cornerback or safety. He's simply dynamic." - Mike Farrell, Rivals.com

Why he's a five-star: "Diggs has great body control, quickness and change of direction. He stood out in the drills at the Tuscaloosa NIKE Camp last spring as an underclassman even more than most of the older kids so I noticed him without having any clue who he was. I followed him after that and he has terrific ball skills, he's a very good route-runner and he might not be a pure 4.4 guy but he plays fast. He dominated the one-on-ones and that was a really talented group." - Barry Every, Rivals.com

His coach says: "Diggs has so much raw ability and God-given talent and he's the kind of player that you just have to tell him one thing once and he knows it, you don't have to tell him over and over again. He picks things up so easily but the best part about him is that when the ball comes around him, something changes. It does something special to him. His whole demeanor changes when he sees a football, it's hard to explain. He's super-competitive and hates to loss and when the chips are down, he never quits. He fights. He leaves it all on the field and you can't teach his ability." - Good Counsel assistant coach Brawley Evans.

Odds and ends: Diggs was first scouted by Rivals.com in 2008 when he played cornerback and return man as a freshman and impressed. He emerged as an offensive standout at the MDHigh Camp a year ago and then rose to stardom after dominating the Tuscaloosa NIKE Camp as an underclassman last spring. Diggs hails from the same school as 2009 five-star linebacker Jelani Jenkins. Diggs wears an external mouthpiece at camps, a trend that has been followed by numerous other players in the state of Maryland since he started it a few years ago. Diggs is friendly with NFL players Chad Scott (Steelers) and Arrelious Benn (Tampa Bay) who both hail from Maryland.

NFL player comparison: Desean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles




 

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